BAGHDAD -- The U.S. ambassador to Iraq and the Iraqi foreign minister warned of a bloodbath and political meltdown if U.S. troops pull out of Iraq.
In a Baghdad interview with The New York Times, U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker said the report he and U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus are to make to Congress in September would be honest and not politically skewed to necessarily back U.S. President George Bush's determination to keep troops in Iraq.
"You have to look at what the consequences would be and you look at those who say we could have bases elsewhere in the country," Crocker said. "Well yes, we could, but we would have the prospect of American forces looking on while civilians by the thousands were slaughtered. Not a pretty prospect."
At a Monday news conference, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari also warned against pulling out or reducing the U.S. presence.
"The dangers vary from civil war to dividing the country or maybe to regional wars," Zebari said, "In our estimation, the danger is huge."
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